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Tag Archives | Colong Foundation for Wilderness

Koalas and raising Warragamba Dam Wall

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness have raised concerns about inadequate koala field assessments completed in relation to raising Warragamba Dam Wall.

On 18 March 2020 the Sydney Morning Herald reported on a leaked document that showed the NSW Government’s biodiversity assessment of the 5,700 hectare proposed World Heritage Zone was rushed with ecologists having only eight weeks to complete the task.  The Herald reports that the search for koalas during the assessment lasted only three hours and forty minutes when the search should actually have taken 112 hours.

It is extremely alarming that such little regard has been shown for the wellbeing of koalas and other species given the fight the our wildlife now faces for survival after the recent bushfires.

Colong Foundation is asking concerned readers to send a short email to Environment Minister Matt Kean telling him that he should demand a proper survey of this iconic Australian species in the Blue Mountains. The following points have been provided by the Colong Foundation to help you write your message:

  • The leaked document showed a total of 3 hours and 40 minutes was spent looking for koala’s over an impact area the size of 10,600 football fields (5,700 hectares).
  • The document also showed just 15 hours was spent looking for greater gliders over the same 5,700 hectare area.
  • The leaked assessment report did not once mention the words ‘World Heritage’.
  • All assessment field work undertaken before the bushfires is not worth the paper it is written on and needs to be re-done, as the fires have caused a dramatic redistribution of threatened species across NSW.

Give a Dam about World Heritage Wilderness

The Colong Foundation for Wilderness is concerned that the insurance industry and developers are lobbying politicians to raise Warragamba Dam wall [1]. The Foundation believes that they are primarily doing this because raising the dam wall would generate 40,000 additional home insurance policies in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley resulting from new floodplain developments [2].

In response, the Foundation is lodging a shareholder resolution to QBE’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) requiring them to protect our Blue Mountains World Heritage listing.

The Foundation plans to submit the following resolution to QBE:

“Shareholders request that the company develop a policy which guarantees QBE does not invest in, insure or advocate for any projects or works that could result in negative impacts occurring within the boundaries of a World Heritage or Ramsar property.”

The Foundation states that to get world heritage protection on the agenda, they need 100 QBE shareholders to sign on to our resolution on world heritage before Friday.

The Foundation believes they are so close to reaching 100, and are asking that if you own QBE shares could you please sign on to this form to help get them across the line. If you experience any trouble during sign on, or have any questions, please contact the Foundation at hello@giveadam.org.au

[1] Insurance Council of Australia
[2] Infrastructure NSW

Warragamba Dam wall

If the Warragamba Dam wall is raised by 14 metres, the dam will hold over two additional Sydney Harbours, 4,700 hectares of World Heritage listed National Parks, 1,800 hectares of declared Wilderness Areas and 65 kilometres of Blue Mountains’ wild rivers would be inundated and destroyed.

It is arguably the most protected natural landscape in Australia. The Coxs, Kowmung, Kedumba, Natti, Wollondilly and Little Rivers would be flooded for months at a time.

Many of our Club members throughout NSW visit these areas.

Without our support, internationally significant environments that are recognised in the Blue Mountains World Heritage listing would die from sedimentation, erosion and invasion of exotic plants.

There are 48 threatened plant and animal species which inhabit the proposed inundation area.

Species such as the vulnerable Camden White Gum and the Kowmung Hakea are predominantly found within the inundation area, with the dam raising likely pushing many species close to extinction.

 

The area of proposed inundation is home to hundreds of Indigenous heritage sites.

Delicate rock art and marker sites will be forever destroyed if they are flooded by the raised dam for any length of time.

“Our history and our stories are in the landscape that surrounds Lake Burragorang. When Warragamba Dam flooded the valley in 1960, our lands and cultural sites were flooded. We do not want to see this story repeated with the remaining sites. Each time we lose a site, we lose part of our identity.”

– Kazan Brown

Gundungurra traditional owner and Warragamba resident

 

Information and photos courtesy of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

For more information, visit their website.